Ammonia is a chemical irritant that gives off a strong odor. The liquid form of ammonia is used in household cleaners, causing inhalant and contact allergies in people with chemical sensitivities.
Inhalant allergies to ammonia occur when breathing in the fumes through the eyes, nose or mouth. Contact dermatitis reactions occur through skin exposure.
Ammonia causes symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis and asthma such as runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing.
Skin reactions to ammonia include dry skin resulting from eczema, redness, hives, itching, swelling and blisters. Contact dermatitis occurs at the site of exposure and may spread.
Ammonia and associated chemical sensitivities are avoidable by eliminating contact with the allergen through use of gloves, masks and protective glasses and by substituting natural cleaners for ammonia.
Ammonia inhalant symptoms are reduced through oral antihistamines and inhalers. Skin allergies are treated with topical antihistamine ointments and corticosteroid creams to decrease itching and swelling.